UBA Delivers Strong Results As Profit Hits N201bn

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The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has released its au­dited financial results for the full year ended December 31, 2022, showing impressive per­formance across major indices.

The 2022 financials, filed by the bank at Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Thursday, showed that gross earnings rose significantly to N853.2 billion from N660.2 billion recorded at the end of the 2021 financial year, representing a strong 29.2 percent growth.

Total assets rose remarkably by 27.2 percent, crossing the N10 trillion mark, to close at N10.9 trillion in December 2022; up from N8.5 trillion in 2021. This is a very significant achievement and milestone in the history of the powerhouse financial insti­tution.

Despite the highly chal­lenging global economic and business environment, UBA recorded a laudable profit before tax, with a 31.2 percent growth, to close the year under review at N200.8 billion, rising from N153.01 billion recorded at the end of the 2021 financial year; while profit after tax (PAT) grew by 43.5 percent to N170.2 billion in 2022, compared to N118.7 bil­lion recorded the year before. Consequently, UBA Group Shareholders’ Funds rose to N922.1 billion, as at December 2022, achieving an impressive growth by 14.6%, compared to prior year.

In the year under consider­ation, UBA Group cost-to-in­come ratio dropped to 59.2%, from over 60% in prior year, pointing at the Group’s improv­ing efficiency.

In its usual tradition of re­warding shareholders, the bank proposed a final dividend of 90 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo, for the financial year ended December 31, 2022. The final dividend which is subject to the ratification of the share­holders during its upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) will bring the total dividend for the year to N1.10 per share, as the bank had paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo, based on its audited 2022 half year results.

Also worthy of note, UBA recorded a 21.4 percent growth in loans to customers, moving up to N3.4 trillion in 2022, whilst customer deposits improved by 22.9 percent to N7.8 trillion, com­pared to N6.4 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021, reflecting increased cus­tomer confidence, enhanced customer experience, success­es from the ongoing business transformation programme and the deepening of its retail banking franchise.

Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/ CEO, Oliver Alawuba, said notwithstanding the tight and challenging operating environ­ment, UBA continues to deliver significant performance.

He said, “The Group deliv­ered record headline earnings (+29.2%) and profitability (+31.2%) amid significant head­winds in markets where we are present and a heightened global risk environment. Our record earnings, growth, and robust capital levels supported high­er returns for the sharehold­ers. The Group is on course to achieve its strategic goals, and we are confident we will deliver our targets.

“We have navigated unprec­edented macroeconomic head­winds and made significant gains in our diversification strategy and customer 1st phi­losophy as we build resilience in our operations across Africa and the rest of the world to sup­port the mission of providing superior value to our stakehold­ers. The Group’s profit after tax increased by 43.5% to N170.3 billion, with underlying growth in our key income lines and moderation in our cost of fund, resulting in robust growth of 14.6% in the Group’s Sharehold­ers’ Funds and stronger liquidi­ty. We continued to sharpen our risk management structure and practices to align with evolving risks”, Alawuba said.

On the outlook for the year 2023, Alawuba said, “We are strategically positioned to in­crease our market share in our countries of presence, with ex­pansion to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and strong growth of our digital banking and payment businesses, which is pivotal to the evolving cashless economy in Nigeria. We strive to deliver increasingly attrac­tive returns to our shareholders and continued positive impact in the geographies and econo­mies in which we operate”.

UBA’s Executive Director, Fi­nance and Risk Management, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said going by this recent performance, UBA remains on strong footing and is comfortably positioned to take on more opportunities in Nige­ria, Africa and beyond.

“UBA Group’s 2022FY per­formance was buoyed by strong balance sheet growth and im­provement in net interest mar­gin, as Group’s total assets and customer deposits grew 27.2% and 22.9%, respectively, whilst NIM grew to 5.61% from 5.57%. The continuous rejigging of the Groups’ risk management ap­proach resulted in moderation of the NPL ratio, from 3.6% to 3.1%. The Group continued to rely on lower cost funds, further reducing its cost funds to 2.1%.

“We are delighted with the strategic progress we have made in FY22 riding on our cus­tomers’ trust, the dedication of our people, and the support of our wider partners and stake­holders. The bank remains committed to its business de­velopment drive, prudent risk management practices, and we are optimistic to deliver best val­ue for our stakeholders in the days ahead,” he noted.

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